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Voices Online Edition
Winter 2000
Volume XV No. 1

Message from the Holy Father & Bishops to
Women for Faith & Family


Each year since our first Women for Faith & Family conference in 1985, we have been honored and grateful to receive the apostolic blessing from the Holy Father, and messages from our bishops. These messages of encouragement and support for faithful Catholic women, their families and religious communities were a highlight of the 1999 conference, as well.

I was pleased to learn of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Women for Faith & Family Conference, to be held October 29-31 at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska. On this joyful occasion I have the singular privilege of conveying to your President, Mrs. Helen Hull Hitchcock, and to all of you the heartfelt greetings and prayerful best wishes of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

This year's theme, The Year of the Father: "That They May Be Perfectly One" demonstrates a strong desire on your part to unite with the Holy Father by taking to heart his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, As the Third Millennium of the new era draws near, in which he stresses the need for unity, which is "a gift of the Holy Spirit." There he asks that we "respond to this gift responsibly, without compromise in our witness to the truth." And with truth it is essential that we have prayer, which "must increase still more, involving an ever greater number of Christians, in unison with the great petition of Christ before His Passion: 'Father ... that they also may all be one in us' (Jn 17.21)." (no. 34).

As a sign of his spiritual solidarity and esteem, the Holy Father imparts to you his Apostolic Blessing, granted through the intercession of Mary Immaculate. To the sentiments of His Holiness I add my own cordial regards.

Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo
Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

As you gather for your 15th annual conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, I wish to extend to you and all the participants my sincerest congratulations and prayerful best wishes.

In these last months of preparation for the celebration of the Jubilee Year, it is fitting that your annual conference should be centered on The Year of the Father: That They May Become Perfectly One. A profound awareness of the love of the Father shown forth in His Son Jesus Christ is an indispensable element in realizing the unity that Our Lord so desires for us.

Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, sees the Church as a "communion of life and love." From this communion will flow a renewed effort on behalf of the evangelization of the nations. Your days of reflection will no doubt contribute to a strengthening of your wish to bring Christ and His Church to the peoples of our nation.

Be assured of my prayers and support during these days and throughout the upcoming year.

With best wishes, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Congratulations to Women for Faith & Family on the occasion of your 15th Anniversary. May the Lord continue to strengthen you and guide you in living and witnessing to the Catholic faith.

Becoming perfectly one is a gift from the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless your Conference.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago

November 11, 1999
Thank you for your kind letter on behalf of Women for Faith & Family. As a sign of my support for the work of your organization, I am pleased to send the attached donation.

Although the Archdiocese will not be able to send a representative to your Congress this year, please know of my support for what you and others are trying to do on behalf of a healthy and balanced appreciation of the role of women in the Church today.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Adam Cardinal Maida
Archbishop of Detroit

As Women for Faith & Family gathers for your Fifteenth Anniversary Conference, you merit the support of many millions of Americans, Catholics and others, concerned about the erosion of family values and the assault of America's secularizing institutions on religion in America.

Your oneness with Christ, deepened around the altar of His Sacrifice, will reveal the Father's love for us with more profound insights, thanks to the contributions of your speakers and your discussions together. Please be assured of my prayers to that end as well as my gratitude for the sacrifices you so willingly and generously make on behalf of our Church.

In the Lord,
+Edwin F. O'Brien
Archbishop for the Military Services

I shall be praying for all of you as you come together for the 15th Anniversary Women for Faith & Family National Conference.

The other evening I was dining with a highly respected doctor who had a most serious decision to make. He could have opted for fame and fortune in a much larger city environment, but he chose instead to return to the city of his birth, as he put it, "for faith and family."

I cannot think of a better title for your own organization Women for Faith & Family. I believe that these two priorities should be uppermost in the minds of every husband and wife and if they are, their families will be their greatest joy and treasure.

Thank you for holding up "faith and family" as priorities for all of us.

With every good wish for a successful conference, I remain

Faithfully yours,
Most Rev. James M. Moynihan
Bishop of Syracuse

I remember fondly the occasions that I have been able to spend with you and the members of Women for Faith & Family at your annual gathering. Your dedication and your work is of great assistance to the Church. Thanks to all of you for your faith, for your courage, and for your support.

With kindest personal regards, I am
Sincerely in the Lord,
Most Reverend John J. Myers
Bishop of Peoria

It is a pleasure to send you my best wishes, and a small donation, on the occasion of your 15th Anniversary National Conference.

I am more and more convinced that one of our greatest needs today is clear and unadulterated teaching about the Faith and the support we can give families. You and your solid organization of faithful women are wholeheartedly committed to this task. I am so grateful for all you have done, are doing, and will do for the good of so many.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend James C. Timlin
Bishop of Scranton

My prayers and best wishes as Women for Faith & Family gather for your Fifteenth Anniversary Conference. I regret that I cannot attend, but I will be with you in prayer.

National meetings are always challenging to arrange but they are also very helpful in inspiring and encouraging so many people who have the same values and ideals. Gradually the academic world is coming to recognize that the problems of the family in the United States are very much attributable to unrestrained individualism, absence of religious faith and values, and the impact of secularism. At the same time, Pope John Paul II emphasizes our Catholic tradition and the importance of the family. The Jubilee Year will be a great opportunity for us to renew and strengthen our faith and draw closer to Christ our Redeemer.

With prayerful best wishes for the Fifteenth Anniversary Conference, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend James T. McHugh
Coadjutor Bishop of Rockville Center

Keep up your esteemed work for the Church and especially for Family Life. Please find enclosed a little offering. All the best for your 15th Anniversary Conference.

God bless you,
Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Coadjutor Bishop of Wichita

Thank you for the recent information on Women for Faith & Family. I commend you in your labors for family life. Be assured of my support and my prayers. Keep up the great work!

Respectfully yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Robert J. Baker
Bishop-Elect Diocese of Charleston

Some days, in some circumstances, I ask: which came first, the anger or that loss of enthusiasm for things Catholic such as the Most Blessed Trinity's sacramental, transforming presence to us in the one charismatic and institutional Catholic Church in which this mystery occurs?

Women for Faith & Family do not ask such silly questions. They teach. They act. They make it absolutely obvious that the People of God are Christ's Mystical Body. They proclaim and practice their brilliant insight that Catholic enthusiasm is the answer for un-catholic anger.

Congratulations fifteen hundred times on your fifteenth anniversary.

Assuring you of my prayers as I ask for yours, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. John M. Dougherty
Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton

I send greetings to you and all those assembled in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 29-31 for the fifteenth anniversary of Women for Faith & Family. The dedicated witness of its members makes this gathering one of great rejoicing for all that the Holy Spirit has and is accomplishing in the world today.

This year's theme, "That They May Become Perfectly One," compliments my own episcopal motto, "Ut omes unum sint." Together with you, I am convinced that the Lord is calling us to overcome our differences and divisions within the church so that we can be a more credible witness to the world of His Divine Mercy and Love. I pray that through participation in this annual meeting, all your members will be renewed and strengthened to carry out your respective vocational roles in the Church and society. Please be assured of my support and encouragement in this important work to which you have been called.

With every good wish, I am
Cordially yours in Christ,
Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

On behalf of Bishop William K. Weigand and Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Garcia, I want to thank you for your letter dated on the Feast of St. Augustine.

My name is John Rieschick and I serve the Diocese of Sacramento as the director for the Family Life Department. The Women's Commission of our diocese is under the umbrella of Family Life and hence the Bishops have asked me to respond to your request.

Although the Women's Commission is still in the process of appointing members and developing a mission vision, we would like to make a modest donation ... to WFF.

Both Bishops, Helen, are excited about the Women's Commission and hope to promote and celebrate the wholeness and well-being of women and girls in every stage and experience of life. We are looking to engage actively and collaboratively with other groups and organizations which promote ecclesial, economic, and social justice for all.

Congratulations on fifteen years and may your Conference in Lincoln be the springboard in establishing and supporting a broad-based network with and for women in church and society.

Sincerely in Christ,
John Rieschick, Director
Family Life Department - Sacramento

Donations to Women for Faith & Family were received from the following bishops:
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua - Philadelphia
Cardinal Francis George - Chicago
Cardinal Adam Maida - Detroit
Archbishop Elden Curtiss - Omaha
Archbishop Justin Rigali - St. Louis
Archbishop Charles Chaput - Denver
Bishop Thomas Olmsted - Wichita
Bishop James Timlin - Scranton
Diocese of Sacramento - Office of Family Life

**Women for Faith & Family operates solely on your generous donations!

WFF is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

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